Friday, August 11, 2006

Smallville killed my family

My response to Claude's post ended up running so long I decided to plant that sucker over here.

These are the reasons I can't stand Smallville.

I love superhero stories. The good versus evil, innocents in peril, righteous conquering all despite the frailty of human nature - it's that Joseph Campbell monomyth we've all had beaten into us repeatedly in writing seminars and classes. I even took and entire eight week period in my senior English class to focus solely on the hero in literature, and it's turning into the most fascinating curriculum I've ever used. So even though Superman isn't my favorite of the tights-wearing saviors (I'm a Marvel girl), I was still pretty damn excited about Smallville. I watched the first two seasons pretty diligently, but I just couldn't take it anymore after that.

First of all, Tom Welling, although still brutally hot and I'd totally nail him, is like 57 by now. I'm all for actors who can pull it off playing teenagers, but he was already too old to play the role when they hired him. Now it's just silly. They must have to use Superman's actual heat vision to keep his five o'clock shadow at bay.

But I can get past that - suspension of disbelief and all - if only they didn't water it down so much. Smallville got all WB'd out. You know: predictable, pretty people over-enunciating as they have long discussions about why they keep doing the same things over and over every episode. It's like Dawson's Creek if Dawson could bale an entire farm worth of hay in ten seconds and if he whined a lot more while doing it. In fact, have you ever seen Clark do anything other than bale hay? What the hell do they grow on this farm? Fences? Dirt? Dirt fences?

Then there was Pete. Poor Pete, the only black guy in Smallville. His only purpose in life was to show up at the last minute and tell Clark somebody was in peril, unless it was the one episode a season where they gave him a one-episode hobby like hot-rod racing that put him in the peril, leaving some other perifferal character to alert Clark to Pete's dangerous temporary interest. That is, until the day they packed him off to the land of discarded TV token minorities. Right now, Pete is somewhere playing pool with that Latina from The OC.

But most importantly, the only people who ever really suffer on that show all deserve it. Clark always saves the day. I've literally called the moment the whoosh sent him onto the scene to catch somebody just as they were falling into the ravine, or facing off against a bullet, or slamming their head into a wall over stupid plot devices. Okay maybe that last one was just what I was doing in my living room, but still. At the end of one season they actually had the gumption to blow up Chloe. I was excited. I hate Chloe. She doesn't talk like any high school girl I've ever taught, not that Lana does but maybe Lana's just pretentious. Chloe's annoying. Anyway, after trying to kill her and making Clark save her like four dozen times, they blew up Chloe. Yay. So I tuned in the next season and there's Chloe, not blown up at all. It was all a ploy by Lex or something but I don't really know because that's the last episode I watched.

And what the hell is up with this picture? Seriously?

But speaking of Lex, what's up with a rich dude hanging around with high school kids all the time? Where I come from we call that creepy. And don't get me started on the actual town of Smallville. I haven't spent a lot of time in Kansas, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't look so remarkably like Vancouver. Canyons? Caves? Ravines? Foresty mountain passes? Really? In Kansas? Dammit, Smallville, make an effort here.

I have to go watch an episode of Buffy now to calm me down. Nobody's safe from peril there.


  1. Anonymous3:26 PM

    "First of all, Tom Welling, although still brutally hot and I'd totally nail him, is like 57 by now. I'm all for actors who can pull it off playing teenagers, but he was already too old to play the role when they hired him. Now it's just silly. They must have to use Superman's actual heat vision to keep his five o'clock shadow at bay."

    You rock, Emily. Loves it. Yes-yes-and yes to Tom Welling.

    It's great to know that someone else also appreciates "Forces of Nature." Underrated movie indeed.

  2. Anonymous6:38 PM

    I'm confused on how you can dislike Smallville so much, but be a huge Buffy fan. Both shows are predictable, have actors too old for their parts, and dialogue too snappy by half.

    I never got into Buffy because it never seemed to take itself seriously. All of the danger was feigned...everyone had a jokey quip.

    I do commend you for giving Smallville two seasons, you tried. I was happy to see Chloe come back, as I think she's the best character.

    Pete was useless. And even though he was a token minority, I'd take that over no representation at all. Plus I think it said a lot that Clark's best friend was black.

    Season 3 was pretty good. And once Jor-El got into the picture, things picked up.

    Anyway, glad I got your blog juices flowing. And I think we can all agree that Aquaman stinks like a dead fish.

    p.s. From the few pictures I've seen, you strangely enough resemble Annete O'Toole.

  3. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Responding to Em's post on my blog...

    Ms Emily

    Definately don't see myself as high and mighty - and definately appreciate the position I find myself in - cause I am lucky to actually have options - however meager they may be....


    Laying down with the same team that screwed you with the condition that you lose the people that got you into the fight to begin with does go against all I have learned...

    But - as Miyagi says...

    Maybe it's time to unlearn....

  4. Greg - I was being sarcastic about the high and mighty. I guess that doesn't come across in a blog post.

    Claude - On Buffy, people died. Good people. People who didn't deserve it. Buffy didn't always save the day and everybody didn't always share happy family hugs at the end. If you ever doubt Buffy's seriousness, watch the season five ep "The Body" Never has fictional television dealt so realistically with death.

    The show was serious when it needed to be, but didn't take itself so seriously that it couldn't laugh at the absurdity the Scooby gang sometimes ended up in. Smallville is way too serious. It never laughs at itself. And yet, nobody dies. Kind of ironic, I think.

    And thanks Scribe. You're a doll.

  5. Anonymous8:59 AM

    I don't know you, and I just stumbled on to your blog randomly, but from only this post I know: i love you.

    Just thought you should know.

  6. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Matt, get in line. :)

  7. Awww. I feel so special.


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.